Getting Started On Your Spiritual Education Path
Any spiritual practice requires research and study. Witchcraft is no different than any other path. Here is some basic info, words of caution, and suggestions for reading and starting your research.
How Can I Learn More?
If you are one of the many people looking for information on how to become a witch, there are a few things you should ask yourself first.
1. What is your reason for wanting to be a Witch?
If your reason is simply so you can cast a spell, it’s the wrong reason and you might find more information if you look for Spellcraft, than Witchcraft.If your reasons are truly from an interest in the faith or you feel drawn to the Craft as a religion, then you maybe on the right path. But you should learn more and make an informed decision.
2. Are you willing to live by the spiritual laws as a way of life?
If you are, or if you’re not sure, do a lot of research on your own and find out as much as you can about the path you’ve chosen.
3. How Do I Get Started?
Read, learn and read a lot more. Do your own research, and not just from magical books or reference manuals. Through studying history, other religions and how they all inter-relate and interact. I have a favorite saying for this type of education: “Books can give you knowledge. But only your own personal experiences give you wisdom to decide your own path.”
Words of Warning.
Don’t take one persons word or teachings as the only truth or as the only way on this or any spiritual path. No one person has all the answers for you. Only you know what rings true within your own heart and soul.
When it comes time for you to chose a mentor, be very cautious. There are a lot of novice people claiming to be a High Priest or Priestess. The best advice I could give is find someone who can prove they have practiced the path for several years (my standard is 10 years or more).
Don’t just take their word for it. Find someone who is willing to answer your questions without charging you money.
Taking a class and paying for an instructors time is NOT the same thing as finding a “spiritual teacher”. (Classes are wonderful for making new friends and learning in a group.)
What you should really be looking for is a mentor or guide, not a person who thinks they have the right to tell you what to do or believe.
Lastly, always question!
Question everything you are told and everything you read.
Research other material to validate what you are being told or what you read in a book.
Make sure that a book is supported by other books and by history itself.
What Path/Tradition Do I Chose?
When you are starting your research, the “tradition” should be the last thing on your mind.
Before you can find a practice for your beliefs, you have to understand the beliefs.
When you have established this base of knowledge, I would suggest you follow your heart.
If you feel drawn to Faeries, research Faery Traditions, or Native American cultures research Shamanistic practices.
If you feel drawn to your Irish heritage, research Celtic traditions.
If you feel drawn to your Scandinavian heritage, research Norse traditions.
If what you’ve heard about Wicca appeals to you, research the various Wiccan traditions. And so on.
The point is, the tradition you chose should ‘feel’ comfortable and natural to you.
What Do I Call Myself?
For now, if you need a label, call your self a “beginning pagan”.
After getting an understanding of the basics of belief and metaphysical principles, my students are required to pass a written and oral test.
At that time, they’ve earned the right to claim the title of Apprentice. Some chose to change it as Apprenticing Witch, Apprenticing Pagan, or for those who have the ambition and desire, Apprenticing Shaman.
Some people think they can study a tradition and claim the title of that tradition.
There are many Wiccans who follow that practice.
The problem is, many traditions such as Wicca, require a process of initiation before claiming the title.
To many practitioners of those traditions that require initiations, claiming the title without the formal education is seen as disrespectful and insulting.
There is no shame in claiming that you are a “beginning practitioner”.
Many established Pagans, Priests/Priestesses and Elders will have a greater admiration and respect for you if you’re honest about your standing.
They will also be more likely to help you and answer your questions.
And one day- YOU will be the “teacher” to a “beginner”